|Publication number||US7586057 B2|
|Application number||US 11/560,438|
|Publication date||Sep 8, 2009|
|Filing date||Nov 16, 2006|
|Priority date||Nov 16, 2006|
|Also published as||US20080116173|
|Publication number||11560438, 560438, US 7586057 B2, US 7586057B2, US-B2-7586057, US7586057 B2, US7586057B2|
|Inventors||Glen C. Sisson, Mark O. Zindler, Craig A. Rodgers|
|Original Assignee||Eaton Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Non-Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (18), Classifications (10), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is related to commonly assigned, concurrently filed: U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/560,423,filed Nov.16, 2006, entitled “ELECTRICAL SWITCHING APPARATUS, AND CASE AND TERMINAL SHIELD THEREFOR”.
1. Field of the Invention
The invention relates generally to electrical switching apparatus and, more particularly, to vented cases for electrical switching apparatus.
2. Background Information
Electrical equipment such as, for example, relays, circuit breakers, electric meters and transformers, are typically housed within an electrical enclosure such as, for example, a housing such as a cabinet.
Panelboards or load centers, for example, are types of electrical enclosures which serve to distribute power for residential or commercial applications. Typically, the panelboard or load center includes a housing enclosing a plurality of electrical switching apparatus (e.g., without limitation, circuit breakers) for protecting branch circuits against electrical faults or overload conditions. It is desirable to maximize the efficiency with which the available space within the housing is used. Accordingly, the circuit breakers are often disposed, for example, adjacent one another in parallel rows with one or more bus bars extending between the rows. The circuit breakers may also be removably coupled to a DIN rail. DIN is short for Deutsches Insitut für Normung eV, which is a German standard-setting organization. Accordingly, a DIN rail is a connecting rail structure which is designed to satisfy DIN standards. Some manufacturers of circuit breakers provide the circuit breaker with a DIN rail mounting structure, such as an integrally molded recess sized to provide snap-on attachment to the DIN rail.
Such circuit breakers 2 are subject to industry safety regulations. For example and without limitation, the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) establishes regulations pertaining to the specifications of circuit breaker arc chutes (not shown) and, in particular, the venting capability of circuit breakers to sufficiently vent ionized gases which are produced as a byproduct of an arc generated when the circuit breaker trips. Such regulations are becoming increasingly stringent. As a result, many existing circuit breakers such as, for example, the circuit breaker 2 with single vent 20 discussed hereinabove with respect to
There is, therefore, room for improvement in electrical switching apparatus and in cases therefor.
These needs and others are met by embodiments of the invention, which are directed to a vented case for electrical switching apparatus such as, for example, circuit breakers.
As one aspect of the invention, a vented case is provided for an electrical switching apparatus. The electrical switching apparatus includes an arc chute structured to attract and dissipate an arc. The arc produces an ionized gas. The vented case comprises: at least one housing member comprising an interior, an exterior, a first end, a second end disposed generally opposite and distal from the first end, and an intermediate portion extending between the first end and the second end; and at least one vent structured to discharge the ionized gas from the interior of such housing member to the exterior of such housing member. Such vent includes a plurality of venting passages, each being structured to extend from proximate the arc chute within the interior to the exterior.
Such vent may be disposed proximate at least one of the first end and the second end of such housing member. Such vent may comprise a primary vent disposed at or about the first end of such housing member of the vented case, wherein the primary vent comprises at least a first venting passage and a second venting passage spaced from but proximate to the first venting passage. A portion of the first venting passage of the primary vent may combine with a portion of the second venting passage of the primary vent, thereby forming a common venting passage. The common venting passage may be structured to be disposed proximate the arc chute of the electrical switching apparatus. The primary vent may further comprise a third venting passage, wherein the third venting passage interconnects the first venting passage with the second venting passage. The third venting passage may be substantially perpendicular with respect to the first and second venting passages. The primary vent may be generally capital I-shaped.
The first end of such housing member of the vented case may comprise a first terminal, and the second end of such housing member may comprise a second terminal. Such vent may further comprise at least one secondary vent disposed at or about at least one of the first terminal and the second terminal, wherein the venting passages of such vent further comprise at least one secondary venting passage. Such secondary venting passage may extend from the intermediate portion of such housing member of the vented case to the secondary vent. Such secondary vent may comprise a first vent aperture disposed at or about the first terminal and a second vent aperture disposed at or about the second terminal, and such secondary venting passage may comprise a first secondary venting passage extending from the intermediate portion of such housing member of the vented case to the first vent aperture, and a second secondary venting passage extending from the intermediate portion of such housing member of the vented case to the second vent aperture.
Such housing member may further comprise a plurality of protrusions extending substantially perpendicularly outwardly from the interior thereof. The protrusions may define a first substantially vertical wall disposed proximate the first terminal of the first end of such housing member and a second substantially vertical wall disposed proximate the second terminal of the second end of such housing member, wherein the first vent aperture comprises an aperture through the first substantially vertical wall and the second vent aperture comprises an aperture through the second substantially vertical wall.
The vented case may comprise a first molded housing member and a second molded housing member coupled to and disposed opposite from the first housing member. The first molded housing member of the vented case may include a plurality of first protrusions extending outwardly from the first molded housing member toward the second molded housing member, and a plurality of first recesses, and the second molded housing member of the vented case may include a plurality of second protrusions extending outwardly from the second molded housing member toward the first molded housing member, and a plurality of second recesses. Each of the first recesses of the first molded housing member may align with a corresponding one of the second recesses of the second molded housing member, in order to form such vent, and each of the first protrusions of the first molded housing member may align with a corresponding one of the second protrusions of the second molded housing member, in order to form the venting passages.
As another aspect of the invention, an electrical switching apparatus comprises: separable contacts; an arc chute disposed proximate the separable contacts, the arc chute being structured to attract and dissipate an arc from the separable contacts, the arc producing an ionized gas; and a vented case housing the separable contacts and the arc chute, the vented case comprising: at least one housing member comprising an interior, an exterior, a first end, a second end disposed generally opposite and distal from the first end, and an intermediate portion extending between the first end and the second end, and at least one vent structured to discharge the ionized gas from the interior of such housing member to the exterior of such housing member. Such vent includes a plurality of venting passages, each of the venting passages extending from proximate the arc chute within the interior to the exterior of the at least one housing member of the vented case.
A full understanding of the invention can be gained from the following description of the preferred embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
For purposes of illustration, embodiments of the invention will be described as applied to three molded case circuit breakers which are ganged together side-by-side, although it will become apparent that they could also be applied to a wide variety of electrical switching apparatus (e.g., without limitation, circuit switching devices and other circuit interrupters, such as contactors, motor starters, motor controllers and other load controllers) having an arc chute, which are arranged in any suitable number and/or configuration.
Directional phrases used herein, such as, for example, left, right, top, bottom, upper, lower, front, back and derivatives thereof, relate to the orientation of the elements shown in the drawings and are not limiting upon the claims unless expressly recited therein.
As employed herein, the term “ionized” means completely or partially converted into ions, or ions and electrons, and being at least somewhat electrically conductive such as, for example, ionized gases generated by arcing between separable electrical contacts of a circuit breaker when opened.
As employed herein, the terms “case” or “casing” and derivatives thereof refer to any known or suitable enclosure or housing structured to contain the internal components (e.g., without limitation, operating mechanism; separable contacts; arc chute) of an electrical switching apparatus such as, for example and without limitation, a circuit breaker.
As employed herein, the term “vented” refers to the nature of the disclosed case for electrical switching apparatus, wherein the case has a number of vents or other known or suitable structures which enable the electrical switching apparatus to expel or otherwise suitably release or discharge undesirable gas (e.g., ionized gas) and/or matter from within the case to the exterior thereof.
As employed herein, the term “vent” refers to any known or suitable mechanism, opening and/or passage which functions, for example, to expel or otherwise suitably release or discharge undesirable gas (e.g., ionized gas) and/or matter from within the case of an electrical switching apparatus to the exterior thereof.
As employed herein, the statement that two or more parts are “coupled” together shall mean that the parts are joined together either directly or joined through one or more intermediate parts.
As employed herein, the term “number” shall mean one or an integer greater than one (i.e., a plurality).
The vented case 100 in the example shown and described herein, includes at least one housing member 102 (
The vented case 100 further includes at least one vent 120,122,124 structured to discharge the ionized gas 36 (
Specifically, the primary vent 120 includes at least a first venting passage 126, and a second venting passage 128 which is spaced from but proximate to the first venting passage 126. The first venting passage 126 of the example primary vent 120 combines with a portion of the second venting passage 128 to form a common venting passage 132, as shown in
The venting efficiency of the disclosed circuit breaker 30 is still further improved through the inclusion of several other additional unique features. Among them is a third venting passage 130 (best shown in
In addition to the aforementioned primary vent 120, the example vented case 100 further includes at least one secondary vent 122,124 (only one secondary vent 122 is shown in
In other words, the aforementioned venting passages (e.g., 126,128,130,132,134,136) of the vents (e.g., 120,122,124), are formed by the alignment of a plurality of first protrusions 150 which extend outwardly from the interior 106 of the first housing member 102, as shown in
As shown in
The disclosed circuit breaker 30 also includes at least one terminal shield 200,200′ (terminal shield 200′ is partially shown, only in
For simplicity of disclosure only one of the terminal shields 200 for one of the circuit breakers 30 of
Additionally, unlike the tapered first and second protrusion 16,18 shown and described with respect to
As best shown in
As previously discussed, the first and second housing members 102 (
Accordingly, the disclosed circuit breaker 30 provides a vented case 100 having an optimized number and configuration of vents (e.g., 120,122,124) and venting passages (e.g., 126,128,130,132,134,136), thereby improving the efficiency with which the circuit breaker 30 vents ionized gas 36. Terminal shields (e.g., 200,200′) are also provided which, among other benefits, resist undesirable arcing and electrical shorts associated therewith.
While specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the claims appended and any and all equivalents thereof.
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|U.S. Classification||218/157, 218/35, 200/293, 335/201, 200/306|
|Cooperative Classification||H01H71/0271, H01H9/342, H01H71/1009|
|Nov 16, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: EATON CORPORATION, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SISSON, GLEN C.;ZINDLER, MARK O.;RODGERS, CRAIG A.;REEL/FRAME:018526/0441
Effective date: 20061115
|Feb 25, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Feb 24, 2017||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8